A new Prairie Village ordinance regulating Christmas displays has a man notorious for his holiday decorations seeing red.
"I'll have to tell the people the truth," Mike Babick said during a meeting Monday night. "They didn't want Christmas in Prairie Village. They didn't want Christmas in Prairie Village. They killed it."
Babick said he will dismantle his elaborate display and protest the decision.
"There won't be Christmas in Prairie Village," he said.
Back in 1968, Babick began putting up Christmas lights outside his home at 7611 Falmouth St. The display has grown more and more elaborate.
But it has also attracted complaints from neighbors about the noise, traffic congestion and littering issues that the throngs of sightseers have created. More police officers have been needed in the neighborhood because of complaints as well as traffic and parking issues.
In response, Prairie Village has been pondering the issue for more than two years and working to find a compromise resolution.
The council took final action Monday night. Now, special events, including holiday displays like Babick's, must get a permit and pay a fee to help cover the city's costs.
The city can deny permits if the event would create excessive traffic congestion or the potential for accidents.
"That's the end of the Christmas display. You killed it," Babick maintained.
However, his daughters reportedly said the display would go on, and the family may seek donations or fees to cover their costs.
KCTV5's Dave Jordan spoke to Babick Tuesday night. He reiterated that he could not afford the costs that the permit or getting schematics done would cost him.
He said the council's decision had devastated him and led him to tears.
"It means everything to me that I could give this to the people, a free great Christmas present for everybody," he said. "But now it's taken away."
He said he would be willing to put his exhibit up in another city rather than Prairie Village.
"If they don't want it, we don't want them," he said.
Jessie Novak said he moved to the neighborhood five years ago and enjoyed the tradition.
"It's a heartbreak that simple stuff couldn't be taken care of," he said.
Some residents said they hope to persuade the council to rescind its decision.
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